tv [untitled] September 13, 2011 5:31am-6:01am EDT
a constant companion to any war are lost lives and destruction but the impact on nature often goes unnoticed when i start to focus on the environmental footprint of war. displacement is another of war's consequences the forced migration of civilians has profound impacts on the natural environment this image was taken in one thousand nine hundred six after the tens of million government decided to close camps for rwandan refugees a column of refugees this photo stretched for twenty seven miles toward the rwandan border. these women are i.d.p.'s internally displaced persons although they have fled the genocide in darfur province they have not crossed the sudanese border and are not considered refugees under international law collect
wood for cooking they must risk being attacked by the genji weed government backed arab militiamen who target the sudan's black population. with their heavy demand for wood the sedan six million internally displaced persons head further stress to a landscape already degraded by climate change into certification. internal displacement is a growing problem in iraq an estimated two million civilians have been displaced since the start of operation iraqi freedom i.d.p. camps have sprung up in the outskirts of not just baghdad and nineveh many lack potable water medicine and proper waste disposal. the real risk of not addressing the environmental problems is that people simply have to leave their homes if they don't have wood to burn to cook with to heat their homes with don't have water to drink they leave and you see massive displacement happening we call it
environmental refugees if you will but people are leaving their homes this creates a demand on resources it creates a demand on infrastructure and ultimately displacement undermines the peace process in the vietnam war which the vietnamese call the american war. there's a clash there was a clash between very highly technological society in a largely agrarian society. i think we have a lot of arrogance we thought we were going to go in and take control blow up were needed to blow up and do basically what we wanted. one of the main reasons that i refused to carry a weapon was that i could not see any justification for the destruction of the land at the level that i saw infantry platoon.
was mainly moved from place to place by helicopter the helicopters would fly high so as not to draw ground fire and when you're at a high altitude you can look out on the land in see it for miles and miles and miles in the kuchi area especially there were times in places where i would look out and see nothing but a rabbit's landscape bomb craters one after the other so close together and you see little islands of green that had not been bombed. i grew up in a small town in illinois. town surrounded by corn fields and fields very beautiful town along the illinois river. and when i saw
from high in the sky the destruction to the land i couldn't help wondering what if that had happened to our cornfields are being sealed i would really feel if that happened. yeah. i. i went to that war knowing nothing at all but when i saw that level of destruction i could not believe that this was going to lead to democracy that this was a wind in the sand was going to be. the cause of freedom i wast whatever little faith i had in the war and being noble in any sense.
father way in the pacific lies the tiny atoll of bikini in the bottle i've chosen a spot on the on beefing up mankind most credible false little girl and over the graveyard of many ships a ghost a navy man down there by goats pigs and white rats awaiting the atomic blast. i mean maybe a personnel come a thought a county out the first us to deal with the island those who live down the japanese
mandate twenty. nine exams. the united states now wants to turn this great. power or something for the senate. and the experiments. are the first step is not correct. i think it's generally the case that the greater and more durable impacts come from preparation for war rather than combat itself. the defense lines to support the men who mark. but the mobilization reaches stillbirth or into the life of the nation x. is muscling in the forests and trees must fall or the sawmills white. and builders
right for lumber states feel the need to be militarily prepared and in the modern world that has meant building a military industrial complex building a pollution intense is industry to generate military goods one of the best examples of how the business of preparing for war can have long lasting environmental impacts is the nuclear weapons programs around the world that have been in place since the early one nine hundred forty s. wherever this is happened had been environmental problems with radioactive waste. which no one anywhere has satisfactorily saw. their activation which is located in washington state when the nuclear bombs for developed their little thought was given to what to do about the waste that would
result afterwards indeed now the u.s. department of energy calls him third the world's largest environmental cleanup project pampered washington is the site where the united states says essentially accumulated its nuclear waste mostly from weapons work also from nuclear power and other radioactive related industries hanford was constructed in one thousand nine hundred eighty two under the top secret manhattan project its location along the columbia river provided a ready source of water for cooling nuclear reactors the hanford engineering works produce the plutonium used in the trinity test device and in the fat man released on august saki production of plutonium intensified during the cold war in one thousand and sixty three the dual purpose n. reactor was constructed to generate nuclear power for civilian use when the reactor building completed nineteen sixty three. to break
for the construction. and i think it's very appropriate that we. were at their watches been done in the battle but not. to find a chance to strike a blow. to find a chance to strike a blow for a better life. this is a great while i can assure you. and from the work we began today. that life worked out. for the electricity but. for the united states we're moving in. providing security for our people. right. but. since the production of tony i'm ceased in one thousand nine hundred eighty seven cleanup has been the only mission at the nuclear reservation there are fifty three million
gallons of high level radioactive and chemical waste and fraud stored in one hundred seventy seven underground tanks seventy of these tanks have leaked spilling proximately one million gallons of waste into the soil. after washington is a wasteland of leaking radioactive waste that will be with us for decades and decades probably centuries to come and it's currently costing us billions of dollars to just try to contain let alone clean up in truth it's never going to be cleaned up and some of the radioactive waste will remain potentially lethal for twenty four thousand years which is any way you slice it a long time. the
united states used to stockpile chemical weapons unbeknown to most of the world in germany and in okinawa with u.s. troops in japan and those two stockpiles which were never used of course were shipped back secretly to johnston at all in the pacific and one of the world's largest incinerators was built in the middle of a wildlife refuge and that process in burning those chemical weapons from okinawa in germany took place in one thousand nine hundred two to the year two thousand john snaffle has been and still is being studied but that's actually a very interesting case of a unique coral reef really in the middle of the pacific ocean it's about seven hundred fifty miles west of hawaii that was used as a launch site for atmospheric nuclear testing. the five july the fourth vehicle for bluegill. one of a column casualty i know that was a sticking fuel file which caused the fire that's more from ignition. missile and
more at home or. when at least one of the atmospheric tests with the hydrogen bomb blew up on the launch pad a good part of just now told was left with highly radioactive plutonium debris twenty years later all the agent orange that was all dumped on johnson stored as they say on johnson at all that really over time became a dump site of agent orange and now thirdly we put chemical weapons on johnson at all this national wildlife refuge under the fish and wildlife department has really been used and abused by the military over the ages.
for. only a few hours before it was wiped out in austin it was efficient little telling point out that it had made before you what to do in such as shelter as the people calmly waited all unaware that already descending upon them was the atom bomb. when it was all over on and off square miles of that awesome moment but on one blasted to extinction they all shattering devastation in which was gone that time again. radiation effects not fantastically imprinted on walls and fun it just like present shadows allowed outlined on a building the design of a dress left on the body of a woman who would die in a few days and. visible. from. the.
members of the so-called nuclear club states known to have detonated nuclear weapons either best pick or foreign soil among them at least. have been conducted disappear under water underground and in space. where retaining tens of thousands of nuclear weapons when probably a few hundred would be enough for deterrence we have nuclear weapons far in excess of any conceivable need for them as the strongest conventional power by orders of magnitude in the world for this country to say that we need nuclear weapons what does that signal to the rest of the world. that they must be very valuable and that they probably would want to get them selves i mean i think as long as any nation retained sneak weapons other nations who want them few
years ago. that was a real promise of hope for the poor both black and white through the poverty program then came the buildup in vietnam. and i watched this program broken and it was a rated as if it was some i don't political play thing about suicide to gone mad on war and i knew that america would never invest the necessary energies in rehabilitation of its. star long as the adventures like vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction to. the world's cammy spinning somewhere around a trillion us tireless on war and preparations for war and this enormous to fish for a fraction of that a man we could have clean water sanitation education good health care for everybody
on the planet that's a terrible to the nation for so since. any war that takes place on the matter how large or how small has enormous costs to it we're talking in lebanon to the billions of dollars of cleaning up just a fifteen day war let alone you know the years and years of warfare in iraq or afghanistan or vietnam or wherever else they may take place so the costs of war really. if they're well understood and in most cases they're not but if they're well understood should preclude the war to begin with the war is not worth the cost in terms of lives but also long term environmental and public health damage for decades to come. fossil fuel is a particular problem in this time a concern at that climate change just fine example i think illustrates it well if
we imagine one f. sixteen fighter jet. flying for just under one as it uses approximately twice as much oil as he every chimeric and citizen uses in his or her kite if we hear. the f. sixteen is just one machine in one branch of the military to take another example the army's abrams tank weighs sixty eight tons and requires two gallons of fuel per mile. all told the united states department of defense burned some three hundred fifty thousand barrels of oil per day making it the world's largest single consumer the defense department uses think somewhat over two thirds of the energy. that the u.s. government. uses it uses them for ships and tanks and planes and heating buildings and a whole host of other things. but probably the
largest impact that all the defense effort has is a diversion of intellectual entergy and our monetary resources away from trying to solve an address some of the long term problems. in sea level is also rising and in louisiana we've been losing thirty square miles a year roughly. of land. i mean if the united states were losing that to some foreign power we'd have the military out there defending you. we often ask the question where were you on september eleventh well i remember that very curtly because i was in new york and i was there specifically to give a luncheon address at the new york times on the new book. economy building an economy for the year. well by mid-morning that much was already history terrorism
is a threat no question about it but on my list of threats to our future. there are there are many more serious threats climate change being an obvious one population growth being another the economy does not exist in a vacuum it is entirely dependent on the earth's natural systems and resources and if we damage and destroy those systems and resources then the economy will eventually decline and one day collapse. the challenge is not to rush not a high tech military response to terrorism that will work the challenge is to build an environmentally sustainable equitable society that will do more to undermine terrorism than any possible high tech military weapon systems we can devise. the other exciting thing is that almost everything we need to do has already been done by at least one country. in his book plan b.
lester brown uses scientific and economic studies together with data from the world bank united states government m.p. united nations to draft a global budget for restoring the earth we look at the two sort of major components of what we think it's going to take to create a sustainable future one is poverty eradication and population stabilization and then we treat those as one because we think they're closely related when we put the budgets together for eradicating poverty stabilizing population plus what we call the earth restoration budget it comes to a total of one hundred sixty one billion dollars now that's a lot of money it's a third of the u.s. military budget. it's a third of the u.s. military budget and the u.s. military budget is half of the global military budget which is now about a trillion dollars and if you asked the question could we reduce the u.s.
military budget by a third. and shift those expenditures into poverty eradication population stabilization earth restoration i think it's clear that we would do far more to insure our future than if we just stay with a half trillion dollars of u.s. taxpayer money going to military purposes. the environment is in intend to fund national security and i don't mean that in a trite and cliched way our resource constraints even if we were to defend us those physically we need those resources and if we're not going to be able to put the them into strategically tactically and just common sense why a big mistake as soon. giorgi concerns are discussed the environment is immediately trumped and people say well we have to move forward because this is
a matter of our survival and what we have been suggesting is that the environment itself has a very survivalist take element to it so protecting the environment should be considered at that level. environmental harms should be considered what we call in political terry common of versions if you're at a crossroads you have two cars that have divergent interests one is going in one direction the other in the other direction they're not going in the same direction but they have a common aversion which is getting into an accident. and they're likely to cooperate over that common aversion whether it's through a stop sign or through some kind of traffic regimen even sides that do not like to cooperate on other things and have divergent interests they may still have common of versions. rising temperatures rising seas and intensifying storms eroding coast floods falling water tables vanishing habitats
and species the broad threats facing us in the twenty first century are environmental yet the environment is consistently overshadowed by the immediacy of war and preparations for war it is extremely difficult to get the nation mobilized against something that is a long term as opposed to a short term problem as long as there is no emphasis or insufficient emphasis from the national leadership to protect the environment. you probably cannot expect the military to give it high priority what we're looking at now is a threat to our global civilization and saving our civilization is not a spectator sport we've got to change the system now and that means become politically active it means supporting political candidates who understand the issues of what to do something about it it means letting elected representatives
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short lived jubilation that made widespread showing for the full of get down in libya some claim that now be intimidated spine a rebel freedom fighter. cashing in on incarceration u.s. climate jails are accused of laundry for heavy jail sentences to make more money from prison it's. dead so the tourists ukraine debates whether a ban on trips to the contaminated area around noble feelings today made allegations they were providing on the profits to official. a very warm welcome see this is all i see live from moscow and the city international has called on libya's new all thought to prevent.